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Frequently Asked Questions

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Q & A 

Will students and employees wear masks?

Yes. All students and employees will need to wear a mask. A proper mask needs to cover the nose and mouth without sliding below the nose. Students and employees must provide their own mask. Students will be provided a lanyard to attach their mask, as not to drop or lose it during times when masks may be removed such as times where social distancing is possible and when eating meals. We ask parents to find a mask that fits their child and practice proper mask application prior to school starting. Masks need to be washed daily.

Will the school be social distancing?

While not always possible in a school setting, every effort will be made to spread desks apart and keep students together with their classroom cohort. Markers have been placed in hallways to designate 6-feet separation between students. Students will use their own school supplies, but at times when supplies or technology must be shared, the items will be cleaned between each use.

Will there be hand sanitizer?

There will be hand sanitizer available in classrooms and other locations throughout the buildings. Students may also bring their own bottle to use. 

Will online learning be like it was in the spring?

It will not. Online Learning will be more robust and will feature a new online learning platform called Canvas. This learning portal will allow for higher quality content and instructional delivery.

What will the buses be like?

Students must wear their mask while on the bus. Students will sit at a maximum of two per seat. We are currently in the process of reorganizing routes and will communicate that information soon. Due to fewer students being allowed on a bus, this will necessitate an increased number of routes. If you are able to take your children to school via personal vehicle, this will help decrease our busload.

Will there be elementary recess?

Yes. Only one classroom cohort will be allowed on the playground at a time.

How will cafeterias work?

All breakfasts will be served as grab-and-go meals for students to take to the classroom. Lunches will be delivered to the classroom or provided to small groups with cleaning between groups. Those participating on virtual learning will have the opportunity to pick up meals, and those details will be released closer to school beginning.

Will elementary students have art, music, and PE?

Yes. How this will look may vary from building to building. Cleaning will also occur on any shared supplies between classes.

What happens if a child or staff member gets sick?

We ask that parents check temperatures at home before sending students to school. It is important that parents do not send children to school that do not feel well. School employees will watch for signs of illness and send any child who may exhibit illness to the school nurse immediately. Any student or staff member who has a temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher will be sent home and must remain home until he/she is fever-free for at least 72 hours without using fever-reducing medicine and does not exhibit other symptoms.

What happens if a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19?

Should a school learn of a positive case, the Mississippi State Health Department has provided guidance to the district on next steps, including communication to those who may have had contact with the person who tested positive. If a short-term closure is recommended, Virtual Learning will take place for students.

Will the attendance policy change?

We are currently awaiting guidance from the Mississippi Department of Education on how attendance policies will be impacted. However, we will not provide any incentives for perfect attendance this year, as it is imperative that students who do not feel well stay home.

What about field trips?

There will be no field trips until further notice.

What about students with special needs or special health considerations?

Families whose students have Individualized Education Plans should talk with their child’s teacher about any possible changes due to updated COVID-19 protocols. Families whose students have health plans or 504 plans should also talk with the school if there are any changes that need to take place due to updated COVID-19 protocols.

What about visitors?

We will not allow visitors to our schools, classrooms or cafeterias at this time. Parents who need to bring items to school or pick up their child will only be able to come into the school’s office and no other part of the building. Parents/guardians will be temperature checked and must wear a mask when entering the school.

Will athletic competitions be played?

Athletic and activities competitions will be held in accordance with guidance from the Mississippi High School Activities Association. 

If I do not wish for my child to attend in person, will there be a completely virtual option?

Yes. However, due to the extensive number of virtual only students who are failing to complete their work and engage in the online instruction, the Virtual Only option will continue only for those students who have met the following three requirements. 1. Good virtual attendance 2. High engagement 3. Passing grades. Students who do not meet those three requirements must return to traditional unless they have a doctor’s excuse that requires the student remain at home.

Will the district provide technology to students who don’t have devices?

We are currently working to develop a plan for loaning technology. We have ordered additional Chromebooks, however due to the nationwide demand, they are on backorder. The district will not be able to provide internet connectivity.

Do students still have to wear school uniforms?

Yes. The school uniform policy is still in place. 

Will students who participate in virtual only still be allowed to participate in extracurricular activities/athletics?

Students participating in Virtual Learning only will not be allowed to participate in extracurricular activities such as sports, band, choir, show choir, etc.

Will students’ temperatures be checked before loading the bus in the morning?

No, due to the fact that students cannot be left alone at bus stops where there may not be a parent present.

If a teacher tests positive will the students be required to quarantine for 14 days and if so, how does that impact attendance?

We will follow the guidance of the Mississippi State Health Department should a positive case be reported.

Will students still participate on GOAL?

Yes. The schedule will be determined by the building principal.

What is the difference between homeschooling and virtual learning?

Laurel School District Virtual Learning allows for students registered with the school to stay home and participate in class via an online instructional management platform called Canvas. For Virtual Learning, the student has access to a certified teacher, district curriculum, and the student has access to school support services including meal pick-up. If you choose to go the traditional homeschool route, you do not register with the district, and you do not receive access to one of our certified teachers. To do traditional homeschool, you must register your intentions with a local Mississippi Department of Education School Attendance Officer, and you must provide the curriculum your child will need. Additionally, you will not qualify for school meal pick-up, or our other student support services. At any point you wish to rejoin the district, your child will be tested for grade-level placement.

If we begin the year with Virtual Learning only, can we change our mind and return to hybrid?

Yes, however you will have to wait until the 9 weeks ends.

Can Laurel Education Center students participate in virtual learning only?

No. Due to the small class sizes at the LEC, students will be able to social distance. LEC students will attend school Mondays through  Fridays 8:45 am – 4:00 pm, with Wednesdays being a half day 8:45 am – 12:45 pm.

Will four-year-old kindergarten and five-year-old kindergarten students be allowed to participate in Virtual Learning?

Yes. Parents can make a request for the virtual only option at the school.


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Additional resources

Provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention